Caught in an abusive relationship? They are more common than you might think. So, don’t feel that you are alone and need to keep quiet if someone in your home is abusing you. There are a number of resources available to help protect people in these situations. Here are some things that you can do.
Go to a Homeless Shelter
If you are being threatened or hurt physically, leave the home and get to a homeless shelter or an abuse shelter. Some places are called women’s shelters but may be open to anyone who is a victim of domestic violence. If you suspect someone is going to try and hurt you or that current conditions are developing into abuse, look up a local shelter and find out if you can come there if necessary. Alternately, line up a friend or family member who will let you stay there temporarily.
Consult Health Care Professionals
If you have been harmed by someone physically, emotionally, or psychologically, contact your doctor’s office or another healthcare professional who can provide an evaluation and treatment if needed. You might be given a referral to a specialist who works with domestic violence victims. Get your immediate injuries addressed, and the health care professional may be able to refer you to a temporary safe place for shelter and connect you to extended medical services as needed.
See a Therapist
Whether planning to leave an abusive environment or if you have already left, schedule an appointment with a therapist who works with victims of abusive relationships. Not only can the therapist provide counseling and guidance, but that person may also be able to inform you about social services in your community that can assist you with various needs, such as food, housing, finances, childcare, or a job.
Get Legal Counsel
In severe cases of domestic abuse, you might want to contact a domestic violence attorney for advice about your rights and responsibilities in the domestic relationship. You should be able to get help in figuring out your living arrangements, child support, and legal protection if the other person is making threats or has already injured you. A domestic violence lawyer can advise you on temporary or permanent legal matters pertaining to the situation.
Domestic violence often evolves in a predictable pattern that is hard to escape. Don’t wait for things to get ugly or even dangerous. Work with professionals like these who can objectively help you get the support needed to escape abuse and protect yourself.